West Coast Premiere of “8”
An unconstitutional proposition.
An unprecedented decision.
An all-star cast.
a new play by
DUSTIN LANCE BLACK
Benefit Reading for Marriage Equality
American Foundation for Equal Rights,
Broadway Impact &
Presenting Sponsor Bryan Singer
Featuring an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, “8″ is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER ) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8 [LINK], a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.
Here is the video of the historic live stage reading:
A moving Gay Rights Video That Brings Tears to Your Eyes and Chills Down Your Spin by Ryan James Yezak and friends
“A second class citizen is defined as: a person whose rights and opportunities are treated as less important than those of other people in the same society. There are many areas in which gays, lesbians, & bisexuals do not have the same rights & opportunities as others in society. We must change this now.
I want to make a documentary that encompasses all areas in which we are discriminated against. The general population is not aware that discrimination against the gay community goes beyond marriage & bullying. There is far too much hate directed towards our community and I want to capture that hate on camera. In addition, I want to explore where this hate comes from, why it continues to exist, and what we must do to get rid of it. A better solution is needed because the solution we have right now isn’t working fast enough.
I am not a second class citizen. You are not a second class citizen. Right now, the laws in place (and lack thereof) say that we are. Let’s change that.”
Ryan James Yezak
Click to learn how you can participate and help produce the Second Class Citizens documentary
Please show this to everyone you can.
from the Ottawa Citizen Sports Section
Communities across Ottawa are grieving a life ended without having ever really started.
It’s difficult to explain how deeply the news of Jamie Hubley’s suicide this weekend hit my home and my extended gay and lesbian community.
We didn’t know him but we know his pain. The son of an Ottawa councillor, Hubley documented his struggles with depression and with his sexuality on his blog.
We want to believe the coming out process is easier for youth today. We want to believe that same-sex rights and living openly have created an understanding in Canada that being gay is normal.
Thousands of gays and lesbians have rushed to the call of the “It Gets Better” public awareness campaign. Videos were recorded and testimonials posted. My community told important stories about sticking through all of the difficult emotions associated with coming out, being accepted and overcoming adverse times. We rallied around the idea that we could help young people see a community, culture and future that existed beyond the teasing, violence and fear of their daily lives.
Jamie’s death at the age of 15 is a wake up call that we can’t do it by ourselves – this is a fight that needs larger forces behind it.
It’s well known that younger gays and lesbians have a higher propensity to depression and suicide. While there is every indication Jamie received plenty of support from his family, school and friends, homophobia is alive and well in our schools and contributing to creating more depression.
Depression is a frightening demon and one we need to have the sense to speak more openly about. We are slowly coming around to acknowledging that mental illness isn’t a taboo subject. Just as society is slowing coming around to accepting my sexuality.
But, I recognize we live in a country that still has a ways to go in truly accepting diverse sexualities. We just had an incident on the campaign trail in Ontario where a provincial leader refused to condemn what was clearly homophobic literature. Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds wasn’t sanctioned by the NHL for using a homophobic slur during a hockey game in mid-September.
Friends and colleagues are shocked when I recount the homophobia my fiancé and I have personally encountered here in Ottawa. Sneers when we hold hands, snide comments and screams from opencar windows of “faggot” or “queer” are common. Yes, even in Ottawa.
“It Gets Better” campaigns featuring only GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer) people aren’t good enough. It needs to get better today for every kid in an Ontario school. This means we need everybody speaking out together.
Educators, elected officials and parents need to rally and demand immediate adoption of a new sexual education curriculum for all levels of schools.
Along with the seismic shifts in public attitude and laws providing lesbians and gays with full and equal rights, we also need to see similar shifts in the way we educate youth about diverse sexualities. The education system must adapt to the society it teaches.
We need to hear more straight men speak out against homophobia. Gay jokes aren’t funny. They contribute to an atmosphere of intolerance. Locker rooms where men toss around the words “gay” and “fag” are the exact environments that keep kids closeted and scared. We need players in all sports to take up the example of U.K. rugby star Ben Cohen and commit themselves to combating homophobic and negative remarks about gays.
We need to disavow ourselves and our society of the notion that, “boys will be boys” and children are somehow entitled to a period of their lives where they can tease, bully and cause pain.
Daily, somewhere in Canada, a gay person is being roughed up or beaten for being gay. How about our tough-on-crime federal government doing something about that?
Depression is caused in part by environmental forces. Community, society and the context people live their daily lives in matters a lot. It’s incumbent on every person to contribute to a society that accepts people along every part of the sexual spectrum.
Ian Capstick is an out and proud political commentator and business owner. He’ll soon be married to his partner Shawn Dearn.
The Human Rights Campaign welcomed President Obama to the 15th Annual National Dinner, the largest HRC National Dinner to date, drawing more than 3,000 people to the Washington Convention Center.